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449 Ratings


Directed by Sean Baker
United States, 2012


The film explores the unlikely friendship between 21-year-old Jane (Dree Hemingway), and 85 year-old Sadie (Besedka Johnson), two women whose worlds collide in California’s San Fernando Valley.

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Starlet Directed by Sean Baker

Awards & Festivals

Locarno International Film Festival

2012 | Winner: Junior Jury Award (International Competition)

Independent Spirit Awards

2013 | Winner: Robert Altman Award

2013 | Nominee: John Cassavetes Award

SXSW Film Festival

2012 | Winner: Narrative Competition (Special Jury Award)

Mar del Plata International Film Festival


What are people saying?

  • Wee Hunk's rating of the film Starlet

    Although this movie is not my type of movie, it became my type of movie. I think of California as a sunny place full of empty people. Jane is a nothing person, but her roommates are less than zero. I was seduced by the camera work, which reveals mostly the spaces between the people rather than the people. The only thing that's real is Sadie, and she helps Jane become something more.

  • Matthew_Lucas's rating of the film Starlet

    Disarmingly powerful film about a young porn actress who discovers thousands of dollars in a thermos she buys from an old woman at a yard sale. When her moral conundrum turns into a strange friendship with grumpy and lonely old woman, the two find in each other a kinship that neither could have expected. Sean Baker's neorealist style adds truth to this engaging and deeply moving work.

  • El Biffo's rating of the film Starlet

    Great buddy film from Sean Baker! After this one and TANGERINE, i am a fan!!!

  • Leroy Martin's rating of the film Starlet

    I'm reviewing this film again because I feel like it deserves it. Before Tangerine, Sean Baker directed another non-explotive movie about female friendship and sex workers. Starlet is flawless. It's definitely one of those movies I went in expecting nothing extraordinary and getting blown away with how beautiful it is. It's now on netflix so please check it out! In my opinion, one of the most underrated indies

  • Jamie Hughes's rating of the film Starlet

    The two lead women in are majestic. It makes me so happy that Besedka Johnson achieved a performance like this so late into her life, and as a complete novice. Incredible. I’m a real sucker for these old/young character relationships, but their dynamic is particularly lovely. The scene in which Sadie returns in tears having lost Starlet was heartbreaking.

  • CarlosEsquives's rating of the film Starlet

    Una historia de amistad con mucha humanidad. "Starlet" es la relación casi por coincidencia de dos personas huérfanas de familia. Su química no deja de ser curiosa, y no solo por su diferencia de edades, sino por ese carácter emocional tan contrario una de la otra. Su historia funciona casi como un buddy film. Ya casi terminando se asoma un conflicto. Este servirá para revelar su lado sensible y emotivo.

  • spiderliliez's rating of the film Starlet

    When a young porn actress befriends an 85-year-old reclusive widow, you can't really know what to expect. Besedka Johnson (RIP), made this her first and last film, and she was phenomenal! Dree Hemingway (Ernest Hemingway's great grand daughter) is sublime and portrayed her character so convincingly, with a brush of spunk and grace. "Starlet" is visually stunning, riveting, and emotionally pleasing. I am blown away.

  • mpho3's rating of the film Starlet

    Ha! I had no idea where this was going, but I liked where it went. If I were Ernest, I would be proud of my great granddaughter. If, however, I were Jane/Tess's parent, I'd be pretty conflicted wouldn't I. Yup. Excellent turn from Besedka Johnson, too.